MINERAL RIDGE, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Gene A. McElhaney, Sr., 78, of Mineral Ridge, passed away Friday, December 3, 2021, in his residence surrounded by his family.

Gene was born February 20, 1943, in Warren, the son of the late Clyde “CJ” Bud and Thelma James McElhaney.

He attended Niles City School System.

Gene was extremely proud to serve his country as he joined the United States Army’s 101st Airborne Rangers, the “Screaming Eagles,” at the age of 17, the youngest ever to graduate jump school. His military training did not end there. He went to recon training, military lineman school and the list goes on and on. Gene helped make history when he served in the “Bay of Pigs” invasion.

He was a golden glove boxing champ. He once fought a kangaroo, lucky for him, not for the championship, the kangaroo would hold the title.

Gene was the third person hired at General Motors Lordstown Assembly Plant. Not to be one to stand on a line, Gene went to RMI Titanium in Niles, where he retired as a millwright after 32 years.

Gene, otherwise known as Geno, Uncle Gene, Mean Gene and cement head (the list was endless), but he had one that was his greatest honor to hold, “Grandpa.” He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend to all who knew him. His greatest joy in life was his family, by blood or by love.

Gene was an avid fisherman, hunter, car enthusiast and a great dancer. His heroes were George Jones, Clint Eastwood and of course, his lookalike, Elvis. On any given day, you could find him watching his westerns, tinkering in the garage or attending any event related to his grandchildren. He will be deeply missed by all those who knew and loved him.

He is survived by the love of his life of 58 years, Norma Jo Pyle McElhaney; they have four children, Gene (Lynne) McElhaney, Jr. of Broadview Heights, Susan (Rob) Sigg of Lake Worth, Florida, Jeff (Kari) McElhaney of Mineral Ridge and Daniel (Maddie) McElhaney of Warren; grandchildren, Kyle (Amanda) Spino of Broadview Heights, Brittany (Brandon) Mundarain of Santa Rosa, California, Tanner, Toby and Tenley McElhaney, of Mineral Ridge and his siblings, Dan McElhaney and Bonnie Killin, both of Niles. He will also be missed by his in-laws, many nieces and nephews and countless friends who thought the world of him.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Friends and family may send condolences by visiting nicholasfuneralhome.com.

Memorial contributions can be made in Gene’s name to the New Hope United Methodist Church Youth Group, 21 Fairview Avenue SE, Niles, OH 44446.

At the request of the family, anyone attending the calling hours or funeral service are requested to wear a mask.

Calling hours will be held Monday, December 6, 2021, from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., at Wm Nicholas Funeral Home and Cremation Services LLC, 614 Warren Avenue, Niles, OH 44446.

A funeral service will be held Tuesday, December 7, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. in the funeral home, with Pastor Jim Spatholt, officiating.

Arrangements are entrusted to the Wm Nicholas Funeral Home & Cremation Services LLC, 614 Warren Avenue, Niles, OH 44446.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gene, please visit our floral store.